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In the Shadow of Heaven by N. Paris


Yan BarCarran is on the cusp of graduating from the top theological school in the galaxy. She’s expecting to slide quietly into an unremarkable apprenticeship and career that will make her uncle proud, but her quiet future vanishes when she’s offered an apprenticeship with the most powerful man in the Empire. Yan has to learn politics and leadership, fast. As she organizes trade deals, learns to defend herself from assassins, and attends dangerous parties, Yan must learn who she can trust in this new world. After all, at the top, the only place left to go is down.

Updates every Monday and Friday!

Additional Information

This story is scifi with mild fantasy elements. It’s relatively slow paced in the beginning but it picks up speed as it goes. The overall story is best described as a character-focused drama with some adventure arcs. Religion is a central element to the world, but this story is not an endorsement of any particular religion (or religion in general) and definitely not an attempt to proselytize to the reader. The primary romance is F/F.

Note: In the Shadow of Heaven contains some graphic violence and harsh language.

A serialized novel, updating twice weekly

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Listed: Jan 9, 2019


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Jan 13, 2019: First up, unlike most on Royal Road, this serial is well written in the sense that the dialogue isn’t stilted, the characterisation’s good and you can tell some of the characters apart by their speech patterns without it being intrusive. The pacing varies a fair bit, it’s not perfect but it’s got the basic bones to be a good serial.

The characters with their flaws and strengths are interesting. It seems odd initially that the empire’s apparent ruler would pick three like these as his apprentices until you realise how small the ruling class is – about 0.000 07% of the population, many of whom will be the wrong age, have other allegiances etc. The strength of the serial is in its characters and their interactions more than the adventure parts.

The plot moves slowly, but it picks up speed in the chapters numbered in the 40s. As of writing it’s up to the 50s and publishing 3 times a week. The view from the top of an Evil Empire is worth the read IMO.

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